I am visiting relatives of some obscure variety on their farm, which huddles in the coruscating heat of a country placed somewhere between Arizona and Nevada, but oddly reminscent of Norfolk, England. The news comes in that hostile Aliens
from Outer Space are invading the planet.
This revelation causes some alarm
amongst my relatives, but not, I feel, as much as it should. Close to panic
myself, I decide to escape by bicycle, and I pedal from the farm out into the
bleak, sunny wheatfields.
I soon learn that the Aliens have arrived in three
sorts of Space Ship. The first two kinds are enormous, although they seem to pose
no immediate threat. But the third sort, which look like huge metal hot-air
balloons strung with flailing steel hawsers, are another matter entirely. I
realise that the first two types are dormitory craft and genetic breeding
stations where cruel and foul things are carried out, and the third type is a
killing machine that will throttle the life out of you for no reason whatsoever.
I cycle faster as I hear an infernal whine from the skies. Ugly shadows scud
over the wheatfields, and as I watch, stringy red tentacles descend from the
hovering balloon. A hapless farmhand is snatched screaming from his tractor. I
am forced to hide a number of times, and eventually my resolve to escape weakens.
After a hazardous and terrifying journey, I arrive back at the farm.
Breathless, I tell my relatives that there is no hope for the human race.
the reaction is not quite what it should be.